In the News October 7 – October 21 

Housing Equity: 

  1. Why Disasters Like Ian Punish Affordable Housing Stock In Particular: Affordable housing takes the most damage and is least likely to be replaced in an area’s housing ecosystem after a natural disaster, leaving a gap where cheaper properties used to be and forcing out low-income residents. 
  1. Shortage of Tax Credits, Higher Interest Rates Plague Affordable Housing: Forty-year-high inflation rates that are outpacing wage growth and eating away at personal income are exacerbating already outsized resident demand for affordable housing financed by the federal low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program. 
  1. Guilford County Schools sees increase in number of students facing homelessness: More than 2,500 Guilford County schools’ students are homeless, up from about 1,000 in the 2020-2021 school year. Students experiencing homelessness can lose four to six months of academic progress with one school move during the school year. 
  1. Greensboro officials dedicate $500,000 to homeless assistance plan: The Doorway Project is an interim housing solution that will create a community with 40 pallet shelters, bathrooms and showers, and a shared space for meeting with social workers and accessing resources. 
  1. FACT SHEET: HUD Marks Important New Milestone in American Rescue Plan’s Emergency Housing Voucher Program: With this milestone, 50% of the total number of Emergency Housing Vouchers have been leased up, with over 35,000 households averted from homelessness. The program is leasing at a rate faster than any previous housing voucher program within HUD and is driving expanded collaborations among public housing agencies (PHAs), homeless services organizations, and victim services organizations to provide housing assistance to vulnerable populations. 

Health Equity: 

  1. Breaking Point: Specialists, Broadband and the Fight for Health Equity in Rural America: Chronic health conditions and distance to medical services mean rural residents need more healthcare specialists and better telehealth. But they are less likely than urban areas to get it. In Hawaii, California, and North Carolina, communities look at ways to change that equation. 
  1. How expanding Medicaid will improve healthcare equity for all North Carolinians: If passed by the General Assembly, the Medicaid Expansion and Healthcare Access and Stabilization Program (HASP) could cover up to 600,000 people in the state and as many as 372,400 currently uninsured adults, the majority of whom live below the federal poverty level and half of whom are people of color. 
  1. ‘Unacceptable’ | NC health leaders update plans to address racial disparities in maternal healthcare: In Mecklenburg County, Black infants are five times more likely to die in their first year of life than white infants. HealthOctober is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and the North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCDPH) is seeking solutions while releasing new plans to eliminate these glaring disparities. 
  1. Language Matters: Why We Need To Stop Talking About Eliminating Health Inequities: Framing our focus on reducing differences in health obscures the reality that inequities affect us all, centers Whiteness, is mathematically ambiguous, and emphasizes individual-level solutions. Instead of thinking about closing inequities, we could strive to improve outcomes to an ideal, yet possible, community-established standard. 
  1. Blue Cross NC Scholarship Program Aims to Diversify Health Insurance Industry: The program aims to lower cost-related barriers for minorities and women seeking to enter the health insurance industry. 

Economic Development: 

  1. NC small businesses rank 2nd in nation in one key measure, study says: Nearly 90 percent of North Carolina’s small businesses that responded to the latest Global State of Small Business survey are open — one of the highest rates in the nation. Women-led SMBs and minority-led SMBs still lag behind the national avergae. 
  1. New Chapel Hill Diversity website aims to support businesses owned by people of color: The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau recently launched Chapel Hill Diversity, a digital resource intending to support and promote businesses owned by people of color in Orange County. 
  1. Is the small business surge in the US sustainable?: The number of new business applications jumped 24% in 2020, then another 23% last year. The gains counter a decades-long decline in start-up rates that had worried economists. Now the question is whether this burst of entrepreneurialism will be sustained. 
  1. N.C. A&T to Host Two-Day Community & Economic Engagement Summit: The Office of Community Engagement at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will host a Community & Economic Engagement Summit on Tuesday, Oct. 25, and Wednesday, Oct. 26 with presentations on overcoming business obstacles, competitive edge, strategic alignment, and community impact. 
  1. Administrator Guzman Applauds President Biden’s New Appointees to the U.S. Small Business Administration: These newly appointed leaders will help further the SBA’s mission of making the American dream of entrepreneurship more accessible and ensure that everyone who wants to start and grow a business can find the resources and support they need. 

Educational Equity: 

  1. Profound Ladies creates space for female educators of color at Back to School Jam: Profound Ladies, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the recruitment and retention of Black and indigenous women teachers of color, hosted Back to School Jam at Southeast Raleigh Charter School, bringing together community educators and leaders to pursue joy in the field of education where less than 20% of educators are women of color. 
  1. Jelani Cobb to headline Public School Form NC’s education summit: Jelani Cobb will headline this year’s Color of Education Summit “A Walk-Through History: How the Past Informs the Present.” In addition to Cobb’s keynote address, the summit will include additional sessions focused on racial equity. 
  1. North Carolina is home to five promising models for eliminating preschool suspensions, expulsions, and exclusions: Racial inequities in ECE suspensions, expulsions, and exclusionary practices are depriving a disproportionate number of Black children from early education opportunities. The Educational Equity Institute, Empowered Parent in Community, Truth Education Foundation, Village of Wisdom, and the YWCA of Asheville offer five promising models to reduce these disparities. 
  1. On the Heels of the Road to Success Bus Tour, ED and FCC Highlight the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) in North Carolina: Representatives of the Department of Education and the Federal Communications Commission visited Charlotte and Durham for conversations on partnerships between schools and community-based organizations to remove student broadband affordability and adoption barriers. 
  1. How Can Educators Help Linguistically Diverse Students in Rural Schools?: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual learning, several technological resources have emerged to help educators communicate with multilingual students and their families, but they cannot replace interpretation services for special education and less commonly spoken languages.